I was recently reading the latest B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends survey by MarketingProfs and Junta42. I like seeing where content marketing is headed, how budgets are being reshaped to support it, and what kinds of challenges still remain.

Seemed like your typical stuff. Larger companies were greater adopters of a broader content marketing strategy, spent more money, and did more in house. Smaller companies—less so. Then I came upon the survey question that asked, “What is your biggest content marketing challenge?” The answers also weren’t totally shocking. The largest response was, “Producing engaging content.”

However! What did surprise me most was one of the comments by a survey-taker. The comment said this,

Our biggest challenge is finding things for our potential customers to get excited about. The products we sell are not easy to get excited about.”

Wow. Either you need to find another product at another company to market—or give up marketing all together.

I tried to think of some products this survey-taker might be referring to. Maybe it’s data center racks and shelving. No, that allows data centers to expand and companies to defer building new, expensive centers. Maybe it’s an automated payroll system. No, that reduces the time and staff needed to process payroll, while reducing errors. Maybe it’s the grey paint they use on manufacturing plant floors. Certainly customers won’t get excited about that? No, it can extend the life of the floor, prevent moisture wicking or cement dust particulates, and is easy to clean. Couldn’t possibly be that either.

My point is every product – EVERY PRODUCT – should either fill a need or create an opportunity. Granted, they aren’t always sexy, fun, slick, cool, or whatever. But, there should be a reason your potential customer should care – and care enough to consider you.

If you’re still wondering how to get your customers excited about your product, it’s time to go back and do some homework. Start here:

1. Create  a USP – unique selling proposition. It’s your value statement. It’s the reason why you do what you do and why it’s better than the rest (or doing nothing). What is the need or opportunity your product fulfills?

2. Make a list of all your features. Then next to each feature, write, “so that you can…” Complete the “so that you can” statements and make a list of benefits based on the answers.

3. Step into your prospects shoes and make a list of the challenges they face by doing nothing, or using a competitor’s product. Will there be increased costs (staffing, time, liability, asset lifespan)? Will there be missed opportunities (new revenue streams, new customer segment, first to market)? Maybe serious issues (regulatory fines, lawsuits, negative PR)?

If you just do these three simple things and still can’t figure out why your prospects would not be excited by your product, I want to hear about it! Drop me a line. Let’s figure this thing out.

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